Finke to Alice

Submitted: Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 08:28
ThreadID: 13022 Views:1870 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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Hi folks
Leaving Newcastle next week and hope to be in the Centre in about three weeks. part of the plan is:
day 1; come up from Dalhousie Springs to Finke. Then up the Old Ghan track to Maryvale, out to Chambers Pillar.
day 2; back to Maryvale, up the Old Ghan track and left onto Hugh River Stock Route to Stuart Hwy, up to Rainbow Valley
day3; back to hwy and on to Alice.
Towing a Jayco Outback Eagle.
Anybody see any problems. Time is not a factor so can go as slow as is necessary.

Thanx in anticipation

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Reply By: MrBitchi - Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 10:32

Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 10:32
Went out to Chambers Pillar in 2002. There's no way I'd tow my camper on the road from Maryvale to Chambers. One of the roughest roads I,ve ever come across. Don't think it ever gets a grader...
Having said that, if you're prepared to go real slow you will get through. It's just ROUGH........

AnswerID: 59392

Follow Up By: Peter McGuckian - Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 13:58

Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 13:58
We did this route in reverse in 2002 with our old 60 series petrol/gas towing our Ultimate. Take it easy and you won't have any trouble. On the Old Ghan track I suggest you get off the old track and use the side road - lots of ups and downs but less corrugations. Also good to let the tyres down to around 20psi when you get to dunes. A trip well worth doing.

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FollowupID: 321068

Reply By: The Banjo - Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 12:24

Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 12:24
Yep.....all of the roads in that area (Pillar - RB Valley etc) and the Old Ghan track seem to get a hammering. Corrugations can be hell......the Old Ghan track is littered with dog spikes too....we hated it....turned round and took a more pleasant route north (Kulgera then bitumen)......holidays are not supposed to shake you to bits....IMO, the van would suffer....maybe enquire with locals closer to the day. a grader could have been through.
AnswerID: 59403

Reply By: DEFENDER-110 - Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 13:23

Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 13:23
Hello all
we will be doing the same trip late july returning via cattlemans and the plenty.
i will be keen to hear from you on your return.
we are in defender

Cheers Peter
AnswerID: 59412

Reply By: Member - Mike H (VIC) - Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 14:22

Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 14:22
Hi Tessa,
it can be done, just take it steady.
If conditions are very bad then you may not make it all the way to Chambers Pillar on the 1st day. Drop your tyre pressures on car and trailer if the few sand dunes give you any problems.
When you get back to the Stuart Hwy. stop at Jim's Place (Stuarts Well) and say Hi for me, Mike from Red Centre Adventures.
See and hear Dingy!
Jim's Place
Jim is very knowledgable and knows the area like the back of his hand. His Father opened up Kings Canyon.

Have a good one,
AnswerID: 59421

Reply By: Yo Sam - Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 14:23

Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 14:23
The only problems I see with this is the Finke Desert Race which is on the June 12/13/14 weekdend. During this time there are heundreds of cars around from finke to alice. Also The old ghan track is the race track so this is generaly closed to teh puclic for periods over this weekend. Great race though to be a spectator in if you happen to be here during that weekend.
Have a great trip

Yo Sam
AnswerID: 59422

Follow Up By: Angus (SA) - Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 15:12

Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 15:12
We drove down the Old Gahn Track a day or two before the race in '02 and were advised to keep the headlights on in case anyone was 'practising'. The racetrack is generally on the sideroad and was clearly signed all the way but we certainly didn't dare venture of the rail alignment itself which meant we copped all the corrugations. Passed three vehicles towing campers who seemed to be going OK although we did hear one picking up pieces of spotlights that were shaken off the leading vehicle. We did actually encounter one rider that was on a practice run but he'd just been picked up after falling and breaking a collar bone!

Your route and timing is virtually the same as ours was which worked really well. We tried to find the 'secret' shortcut from Rainbow to Chambers without success but the Hugh River route was just graded and great drive anyway.

FollowupID: 321081

Follow Up By: GOB & denny vic member - Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 19:20

Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 19:20
goodday angus the only 1 allowed to use the shortcut across the properties is the day tour bus driver has the keys for the gates we were out to the pillar in 02 as well
in word of short sylables road was bloody rough

FollowupID: 321106

Follow Up By: Angus (SA) - Friday, May 21, 2004 at 09:31

Friday, May 21, 2004 at 09:31

Yep - thought as much.

Interested to see that the new ads promoting Australia overseas had a piccy of Rainbow Valley. I was pondering the reaction of the international tourists when they find in order to witness the sunset at this spot it is advisable to partake of the accomodation at this spot which are half a dozen campsites and a long drop!

Wouldn't want it any other way - of course.

FollowupID: 321159

Reply By: tessa_51 - Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 18:00

Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 18:00
Hey folks
thanx for all the feedback. I think we'll give it a go. Will try to get on line in Alice and let you know how we went.

AnswerID: 59439

Reply By: Willem - Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 19:14

Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 19:14
Hi Tessa

I did three quarters of the Finke Track in November last year out of Alice. We went looking for an obscure place called Alice Well.

The track is very badly corrugated and rough, so if you insist on doing the track I would suggest you drop your trailer tyre pressures to 10 or below and your vehicle tyre pressures down to below 20. The track over the jump up from Maryvale to Chambers Pillar is rough as guts. Do not expect any of these tracks to be graded EVER!!!

The Hugh River Stock Route is a graded road and should be in better condition than the other tracks and the track in to Rainbow Vally should be hard packed sand with smaller corrugations.

Have fun!!!
AnswerID: 59449

Reply By: Member - Paul H - Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 19:25

Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 19:25
With all due respect to all the other respsonses, I think they are overstating how hard it really is. Just take it easy & you should have no problems. Sure its a little rough but I have been in there a couple of times, once wet & once dry & had no problems. We were also travelling with people towing off road campers & off road pop ups.
Its a great place to visit dont be scared off, just take it easy. The only problem you might have is trying to fit your van into the little allocated camping areas. They are marked out with treated pine logs. Some people have had trouble fitting in.

Enjoy your trip,

AnswerID: 59453

Follow Up By: tessa_51 - Friday, May 21, 2004 at 07:18

Friday, May 21, 2004 at 07:18
Thanks Willem, Paul. As I said I will post a trip report when I get to Alice.

FollowupID: 321150

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